Major New Research on School Safety: Schools that Allow Teachers to Carry Guns haven’t seen school shootings during school hours

13 May , 2019  

Schools that Allow Teachers to Carry Guns are Extremely Safe: Data on the Rate of Shootings and Accidents in Schools that allow Teachers to Carry


After the Columbine school shooting 20 years ago, one of the more significant changes in how we protect students has been the advance of legislation that allows teachers to carry guns at schools. There are two obvious questions: Does letting teachers carry create dangers? Might they deter attackers? Twenty states currently allow teachers and staff to carry guns to varying degrees on school property, so we don’t need to guess how the policy would work. There has yet to be a single case of someone being wounded or killed from a shooting, let alone a mass public shooting, between 6 AM and midnight at a school that lets teachers carry guns. Fears of teachers carrying guns in terms of such problems as students obtaining teachers guns have not occurred at all, and there was only one accidental discharge outside of school hours with no one was really harmed. While there have not been any problems at schools with armed teachers, the number of people killed at other schools has increased significantly – doubling between 2001 and 2008 versus 2009 and 2018.

The paper is available here.

The Excel file with the data is available here.

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21 Responses

  1. Sean Sheridan says:

    I’d like to see the trend line for schools in states that allow licensed citizens, not just teachers and staff, to carry concealed in schools.

  2. Tim Kern says:

    I taught for fifteen years, from high school through postgraduate levels. I always considered the safety of my students to be my first responsibility.
    I carried more days than not. No one, not even my wife, ever knew.
    It’s better to be safe than beg for permission.
    If you feel you should carry, carry. If you do it right and you don’t need the gun, nobody will ever know. And if you do need it, no one will argue.

    • Al says:

      “And if you do need it, no one will argue.”
      Maybe not in your state, but in some states the good guy can end up being the bad guy for wasting the “poor misunderstood” perp. //sarc off//
      The more dead children the merrier it is for the left in their quest for absolute control when a major step would be the confiscation of all guns that they do not own.

    • Mike says:


    • Farron Schwierzke says:

      Perfectly said!

  3. Smith Guy says:

    Would like to see a clean list of which states allow carry and the year it was enacted.

  4. Jess L Stark says:

    As a law enforcement veteran of 53 years, I have always known and espoused that “Gun Free Zones” were not only counter-productive but that the legislators who implemented them had blood on their hands. Glad to see America finally waking up. As a firearms instructor for my department I have always offered and given free training to those willing to take on that heavy burden of responsibility..

  5. Jim Pacheco says:

    The anti-science anti-gun fascists aren’t listening. Dead children are okay if it helps disarm the people.

  6. It’s interesting, but it would be helpful to have a more careful statistical analysis to check how unlikely the result is to occur by chance. The article gives some figures on numbers of deaths. But deaths are clustered, since a single incident might be responsible for multiple deaths.

    • johnrlott says:

      It is great to hear from you. The problem is that I don’t know the number of school districts in each year that have teachers that carry guns. We were able to contact each school that had a shooting to see what the rules were for that school at the time of the shooting. But the decision is usually up to the individual schools and that would require that we contact all the school in states that allow it. The one option that I have is to take the states that didn’t leave it up to the individual schools either way. My concern is that would greatly reduce the sample, primarily on the side of states that let teachers carry. But that said, whatever the odds, you have convinced me that I should give it a try.

      Thanks for reaching out.

      • Bill Tallen says:

        John is correct. Data collection is very difficult, because the decision to authorize concealed carry is usually left to the school district, if not to the individual school, and there are often confidentiality requirements that prevent anyone from sharing information as to who, or how many personnel may be armed in any district or school. These are sensible precautions, but one effect is an unwillingness on the part of schools, districts, and states to share information with researchers. All you can do is look at actual shooting incidents and ascertain whether there were legally armed staff present in that school.

    • Clayton Irvine says:

      For the left, dead kids are ok too if they are an inconvenience.

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  8. David says:

    In 1982, Kennesaw, Georgia passed a law requiring heads of households to keep at least one firearm in
    the house. The residential burglary rate subsequently dropped 89% in Kennesaw, compared to just 10.4% drop in Georgia as a whole.
    Today, the violent crime rate in Kennesaw is 85% lower than the national average.

  9. Laura Carno says:

    Thanks John, great research. A quick note about Colorado.: Although there is no law regulating the training involved, the insurance companies have a definite say! There is no one in CO who has staff carrying on campus whose insurance company doesn’t require initial training, ongoing training and practice, and annual re-qualification.
    Laura Carno

  10. […] Lott spoke with Sandy Rios about the STEM Highlands Colorado School Shooting and our new research that shows it is actually very safe for teachers to carry in schools. Data on the rate of […]

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